Last Thursday, I was rushing to get ready for work, and as usual, afraid I would be late. Clothes were flying through the air, my straightener was in one hand, mascara in the other. For whatever reason, I chose to wear a dress that still had to be ironed, so I pulled out the ironing gear, did the fastest ironing job possible, stood up to run out the door and BAM! I hit my head SO HARD on my slanted ceiling that I thought I was gonna fall over. I crumbled on my bed for a few seconds, waiting for my brain to stop rattling around inside my skull. Then I was off to work.
On the drive to work, my head pounding, I started thinking, “What if I have a concussion? What if I start throwing up at work and have to go the hospital? What if I pass out?!” (clearly a little dramatic, but my head HURT) After conferring with my co-workers and friends, and eventually making a call to Dr. Dad, it was confirmed that I did not have a concussion. What I did have was a lovely lump on my head that still hurt. The next day, in a rush once again, I was trying to do my hair quickly, and ran over that nice little lump with my hairbrush. I winced, and vowed to be more careful next time. Over the next few days, I tried my best to baby my poor little wounded head, and avoid contact with the hairbrush to that particular spot.
Hopefully you are not as clumsy as I am, but in my experience, we all have some sort of “bump on our head”- you know, that sore spot that’s mostly covered up, that you can mostly forget about, until it is accidentally bumped, and then BAM! It hurts like heck. You know, that thing you’d rather not talk about? That thing, that whenever you can sense the conversation is approaching the “danger zone”, you quickly steer it elsewhere? Maybe it’s something you did, maybe it’s something that was done to you. Maybe it’s someone who hurt you, or someone you know you hurt. (Did your pulse just speed up a bit? Yep, that thing)
I was a pretty sensitive kid. It didn’t take much for me to feel really guilty about the things I had done wrong. In fact, when I was a teenager, I don’t think I was ever grounded, even once. That was partly because whenever I did something wrong, my parents would talk to me about it, and I would feel so horrible about it, no other punishment was needed. Sometimes I still feel this way when I screw up. So when I got a text from my best friend and accountability partner, Alisha, last week saying, “I have a serious question for you, and I need an honest answer,” not gonna lie, my heart started beating a little faster. (When Alisha goes into “mom mode” like that, usually I’m in trouble haha) But this time, I started racking my brain for what she could possibly be talking about, something dumb I had done, etc, and I really couldn’t come up with anything. Turns out, she had sent me that text, knowing I would freak out, just as a joke (jerk), and her “serious” question was about gummy bears.
Even though I didn’t really have anything to hide this time, I know there are still issues in my heart that God wants to deal with- certain attitudes, actions, or hurts that I haven’t quite surrendered or dealt with yet. I imagine you can relate. And whatever your thing is, my encouragement to you today is simple: deal with it. Many of you who read this are in college, or just beginning to get your footing in your career or ministry. What better time to deal with the things from your past, than now? I read a book recently with this great quote: “Most of us are willing to change, not when we see the light, but when we feel the heat.” So if you’re “feeling the heat” on a certain area of your life, or maybe just now, God is shining His light on something you need to address, deal with it. And deal with it now. Because it’s not gonna go away, just because you ignore it.
I don’t know what “dealing with it” looks like for you. Maybe you simply need to forgive someone. Maybe you need to ask God to heal your heart. Maybe you need to apologize or confess to someone, or maybe you need to get some counseling. Whatever the case may be, I encourage you, don’t put it off. Don’t let your past hold you back any more. God’s got something much better for you, but maybe you’re not ready for it, until you let go of what’s behind. Just like David, let’s make this our prayer:
“Search me, God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
See if there is any offensive way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting.”